Brutal realities of climate change loss and damage come to life in IIED animations

News, 1 March 2021
IIED has launched the first in a series of three animations that depict the deep and personal loss and damage caused by climate change in the least developed countries (LDCs) – stories that, too often, go untold or unheard.

IIED's new animation about climate loss and damage in the Solomon Islands is narrated by climate activists Gladys Habu and Solomon Yeo. Watch a version in Pijin and also see behind the scenes (Illustration: The Like Minded/IIED)

IIED invited people from LDCs to share their experience of climate impacts, and to work closely with us to bring their stories to life.

While there is no agreed definition of ‘loss and damage’ in international climate policy, these animations show how the escalating devastation from climate change is real and unavoidable. And it needs to be accounted for.

The first animation in our series comes from the Solomon Islands. Young climate activists Gladys Habu and Solomon Yeo, whose characters and voices feature in the short film, share how the relentless impacts of climate change are destroying their beautiful islands.

The two-minute clip, available in English and Pijin, depicts the harsh realities of the climate crisis that Solomon Islanders experience every day: rising seas ravage coastal communities while salt from the sea poisons fresh water supplies; communities look on as whole islands sink before their eyes; meanwhile, the threat of violence between ethnic groups looms, sparked by depleting freshwater and land.

As the animation explains, there was a time when the islanders could cope with the impacts of climate change. Now, weather disasters bring devastation on an unmanageable scale, while death and displacement have escalated beyond their control. 

The loss and damage from climate change are overlooked – or, worse, ignored – by the nations across the world whose emissions have fuelled the crisis.  

In the short animation, Habu and Yeo demand action – calling on governments to recognise loss and damage, and to provide urgently needed financial and technological support to help the LDCs, including the Solomon Islands, face fast accelerating climate impacts.

IIED senior researcher Brianna Craft said: “Habu and Yeo’s stories are paramount. The lived experiences of those in the Solomon Islands bring to life the great injustice of climate change. It was an honour working to depict their reality. I hope that others with greater responsibility act.”

Animation of a woman and a child walking side by side

IIED's new animation about climate loss and damage in the Solomon Islands is narrated by climate activists Gladys Habu and Solomon Yeo (Illustration: The Like Minded/IIED)

In a separate short film, Habu and Yeo give insights into the making of the animation and share how personal experiences and interests have driven them to tell their stories of loss and damage. They underline why tools like animations are crucial for getting international policymakers to act, and for building awareness of the impacts of climate change ­­– which are not well understood at the local level.

Habu and Yeo also give written accounts of their personal experiences of loss and damage in blogs that run alongside the animations. Read how people from the Solomon Islands are experiencing profound loss and damage from climate change every day, and how forced relocation is on the horizon as communities face loss of freshwater and land.

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